Qualcast Elan 32

Qualcast Elan 32 Electric Cylinder Mower

Qualcast Elan 32 Electric Cylinder Mower

PRO‘s: compact and lightweight, leaves stripes

CON‘s: takes more maintenance than equivalent rotary

VERDICT: compact, lightweight cylinder mower suitable for smooth lawns

OUR RATING ★★★★☆ 

The Qualcast Elan 32 is a compact electric cylinder mower designed for small gardens with flat smooth lawns. It’s pretty inexpensive as electric cylinder mowers go but has function been compromised for cost ? Read on and find out

Cylinder mowers provide a vastly superior cut over rotary mowers as the cutting blades are much closer to the ground. That’s why they are the mower of choice for groundsmen at football pitches, tennis courts and bowling greens around the world.

Cylinder mowers, particularly small electric ones such as this, are less forgiving than comparable rotary mowers. If you’re someone that cuts your grass sporadically then you’ll find that they struggle with long grass preferring to trim the top off already short grass. If you cut your grass religiously every week then a cylinder mower may suit you otherwise look at a rotary mower.

That said, if your lawn is full of lumps and bumps, a cylinder mower way struggle as the base plate beneath the mower rides very close to the ground and you’ll end up scalping bits of your lawn.

So, how does the Qualcast Elan 32 fair ?

Well, when you open the box initial impressions are of a mower that’s largely made of plastic. There’s not much assembling to do other than to put the two halves of the grass box together (something that we found a little fiddly) and attach the handle to the body. All in all this took around five minutes.

Once that’s done you’ll need to check the gap between the blades and the base plate. Cylinder mowers work like scissors and the size of this gap is essential: too small and the mower will seize when grass enters the gap, too large and the grass won’t be cut.

Thankfully this is quick and easy to do and only requires a screwdriver. However, checking the gap is something that really needs to be done every time you use the mower for optimum performance.

Having assembled our Qualcast Elan 32 we took it out into the garden to test it.

Setting the cutting height (it ranges from 12 mm to 42 mm) was quick and easy and we were pleased to see that Qualcast aren’t as mean as some other manufacturers. With a 17 metre long cable we could actually cut the grass without needing to daisy chain extension leads.

The four blade cutting cylinder did a surprisingly good job of cutting our grass as long as we weren’t too ambitious. At just 400 Watts the motor isn’t that powerful so it struggles if you try and cut too much grass at once. Raising the cutting height slightly prevented it from stalling and then we lowered it and cut again.

Due to it’s rear roller it does leave a pleasing stripe on the lawn but, unlike the stripes made by heavier mowers, it doesn’t last as long. This is not surprising given that the all up weight of the Qualcast Elan 32 is just 12 kg.

The low weight certainly makes the mower easy to manoeuvre and picking it up to carry it to and from the shed shouldn’t be an issue either. Storage-wise, the handle folds in half but you’ll still need to set aside a corner of the shed for it to live in.

If we had to gripe then the grass box is a little small at 31 litres and we found that it tends to fill very quickly. Once full, the cuttings tend to spill out back into the blades which is irritating as you can’t see into the grass box to know when to empty it.  However, we quickly learned to judge how many lengths of the garden it took to fill it and at least emptying the grass box was easy thanks to the large handle on the top.

For the money, this is a good little electric mower. It really is designed for small gardens due to it’s narrow (32 cm 12 inch) cutting width and small grass box. With a five year manufacturers warranty, we’d recommend it as long as your lawn is close to perfectly flat and you’re prepared to accept that the it needs a little more care and attention than a similarly priced rotary mower.

Todays Latest Prices for Qualcast Elan 32

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